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Photograph of the yacht RANI

Date: 1945
Overall: 108 x 65 mm
Medium: Photograph
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Alison Richmond
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00048229

User Terms

    This photograph is annotated on the reverse in black ink with the hand written text: RANI / Capt. Illingworth / RAN / Winner of Ocean / Yacht Race from / Sydney to Hobart / 640 miles / finished 17 hours / ahead of next / boat / Winston Churchill. It is associated with the scrapbook [00048228] complied by Raymond Richmond, a crew member of the winning yacht RANI that documents the inaugural (1945) Sydney Hobart Yacht race.
    SignificanceThis photograph relates to the first Sydney-Hobart yacht race of 1945.
    HistoryIn 1945 Jack Earl, Peter Luke and others from the fledgling Cruising yacht Club of Australia planned a Christmas Cruise from Sydney to Hobart. British ocean-racer John Illingworth, skipper of RANI suggested making it a race. Working with the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania a friendly fleet was assembled. The race set off with a knockabout character of improvisation, mateship and gentlemanly rivalry. When three yachts went missing, there was intense media coverage until they were found. The race had established an enduring place in the imagination of a war-weary public.

    RANI was first across the line and winner on handicap with a time of 6 days and 14 hours. RANI's success was due to the skipper/owner Captain John Illingworth's thorough understanding of ocean racing and the co-operation of the crew who made the necessary sail changes without delay. The yacht was sailed with naval efficiency hard by night and day with a system of four hourly watches alternating with the evening dog watches. This ensured all crew had proper rest. RANI also sailed the shortest course as Illingworth had obtained local information for the voyage from fishermen, pilots and sea captains.

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